The Niagara baseball team’s first game at its newly-renovated Bobo Field didn’t go as planned, but the Purple Eagles ended their opening day with a walk-off win.
After losing the first game of Saturday’s MAAC doubleheader against Iona, 10-2, a Mike Gabriele (Canisius) single in the bottom of the seventh scored Darian Blanks for a 3-2 win.
Iona (8-17, 3-4) went up 2-0 in the first inning but NU (8-14, 3-2) tied it in the fourth. Matthew Grace (Niagara Falls) earned the win with two shutout innings.
Freshman infielder Greg Cullen came into the weekend leading the nation with a .513 batting average and tops in the MAAC with 39 hits. He went 2-4 the first game and 0-3 the second.
The Gaels and Purple Eagles play again at noon today.
Elsewhere around the diamond, Canisius (15-10, 4-3) scored a season-high 16 runs in a 16-2 rout of winless Saint Peter’s (0-20, 0-7).
Ryan Stekl (Lancaster) hit a two-run homer in the third and had a pair of doubles for his five RBIs. With two hits, Liam Wilson has reached base in all 25 games this season.
The weekend series concludes today with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s 6, St. Bonaventure 5, ppd.: Friday’s game postponed in the bottom of the seventh inning to Saturday was moved again to today at 1 p.m. The second game of the series will be played afterward and the third game cancelled.
Niagara 0-6, Marist 7-5: Kelsey Harrigan (Grand Island) and Kendall Watkins opened the second game with back-to-back homers to help NU (9-20, 2-2) earn a split Saturday. Harrigan also had a two-RBI double in the second and a two-RBI single in the fourth. The Purple Eagles play a doubleheader at Quinnipiac today starting at noon.
Quinnipiac 10-6, Canisius 2-2: The Griffs lost their first two MAAC games of the season and dropped to 3-24 overall. Kara Paradowski (Lancaster) combined for three hits, a run and RBI. Canisius heads to Marist today for a doubleheader starting at noon.
Central Michigan 10, UB 2: The Bulls’ two-game winning streak was snapped in a five-inning affair. Jenelle Martinez had both RBIs for UB (13-18, 5-4). Today’s doubleheader starts at 11 a.m.
Niagara 11, Manhattan 5: The Purple Eagles (5-7, 2-1) used a 7-2 second half to pull away on the road and snap a two-game losing streak. Caroline Crump scored four goals, while Alexis Morales added two goals.
Detroit Mercy 12, Canisius 10: Detroit (5-6, 3-1) scored the last five goals over the final 11:53 to spoil Senior Night for the Griffs (5-5, 2-1).
Canisius senior Connor Kearnan had three goals and two assists, while classmate Steven Coss added three goals.